Pop Culture Clash
By Chris Pierce
“New” Italian Village Restaurant Review
Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine bought his Food Network show Restaurant Impossible to Delaware County last week trying to help save the struggling Italian Village restaurant in Milmont Park. Here is a description of Restaurant Impossible from the Food Network Website:
After combating countless “impossible dinners,” Chef Robert Irvine faces a daunting new challenge: save America’s most desperate restaurants from impending failure in just two days with only $10,000. In his prime-time Food Network series, Restaurant: Impossible, Robert uses creativity and resourcefulness along with a lot of muscle in his fight to rescue these restaurants and give hope to the owners and their employees. Day one of the extreme mission begins with a thorough business assessment as Robert launches the restaurant into full service, closely observes the staff and kitchen, and determines their weakest spots. Then, he springs into action by updating the menu, retraining the staff and implementing aesthetic changes with the help of his design team. To ensure a packed house for the grand re-opening at the end of day two, Robert hits the streets to tell the community about the improved restaurant. Will the ruthless schedule, tight budget and ambitious task overcome Robert’s lofty goals, or will this tall order result in restaurant triumph?
We had reservations for 6:15 on Saturday night, the day after the unveiling of the “new” Italian Village. We arrived a few minutes early and were promptly seated. The atmosphere was bright and inviting which was a major change from the atmosphere before, we even got to sit at the table that Robert Irvine himself sat at and autographed.
We decided to start our meals with two orders of Tuscan wings, and I also ordered a bowl of the wedding soup. The wings were done perfectly with a great crisp, you were given 6 to a plate which was just enough for everyone at our table. The wedding soup was one of the best I have ever had.
Unfortunately that is where the good part of our meal ended. My wife and I were going to split the lasagna and shrimp stuffed eggplant parmesan, however they ran out of the lasagna. I am not exactly sure how an Italian restaurant runs out of lasagna but it did happen. I ended up ordering the chicken parmesan instead. At our table there was a BBQ Stromboli, two chicken parmesan dinners, two shrimp stuffed eggplant dinners, chicken osso bucco and a pizza.
Our meals were bought out, our waitress was a little confused between what was the eggplant and what was the chicken. I was given eggplant even though I ordered chicken, our waitress took it back to the kitchen, where chicken parmesan was prepared for me. After that happened more food was bought out and a person who ordered the eggplant was then given chicken parmesan but she didn’t realize it until after she bit into it and was to nice to say anything. Our waitress blamed the mistakes on getting used the new menu, but an experienced kitchen and servers should not have that happen. The “shrimp stuffed” eggplant parmesan was stuffed with an amazing one shrimp. The chicken parmesan was chewy and the pasta was bland.
It had been 11 years since I had been to the Italian Village and this experience did not make me want to try it again in the next 11 years. Based on our service and food 1 star out of 4 for the “new” Italian Village.
For their sake I hope they get things together because once their episode of Restaurant Impossible airs they are going to be packed and if the food and service were anything like they were on Saturday night, then they are going to be in trouble because they are going to have a lot of unhappy customers and the whole point of being a part of the reality show will have been wasted and ultimately they will continue to lose money and eventually go out of business.